Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Construction Law & Public Contracts

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Message From the Chair

Dear Section Members:

It is my distinct privilege and honor to serve as the Chair of the Construction Law & Public Contracts Section. In its 39th year of service, the Construction Law & Public Contracts Section continues to offer outstanding educational and networking opportunities to its members.  We encourage all of you to take advantage of these services.  I have the benefit of having received mentoring from Brett Marston, former Chair of our Section, and Bevin Alexander, Jr., a partner, and others, about the importance of a strong work ethic in our chosen profession, and I, along with all members of the Board, look forward to working for you, our members, while serving as Chair.

Please join us in Charlottesville on November 2-3, 2018, for the 39th Annual Construction & Public Contracts Law Seminar, where you can earn 12 MCLE credit hours, including 2 Ethics credits.  Once again, the Section is fortunate to have Tom Spahn begin the CLE portion of the Seminar with the Ethics session.  This year’s program also focuses on Design-Build issues, Mechanic’s Liens, Delay and Loss of Productivity Evidence, Pass-Through Claims, Environmental Considerations on Construction Projects, Judicial Perspective of a Construction Case, and Contractor Licensure issues.  Additionally, this year’s lunch presentation, Sticks and Bricks—Cavalier Hotel Renovation in Virginia Beach, provides a unique opportunity to learn about a renovation project steeped in Virginia’s history.  And, speaking of unique opportunities, Virginia CLE has arranged to offer a 4-hour local wine tour to several local vineyards after the Seminar as a tasteful follow-up to Clark Worthy’s CLE program about construction issues novel to the winery industry.  The CLE program will conclude with the ever-popular Recent Developments session presented by Tom Wolf and Scott Kowalski.  Program co-chairs Alison Mullins and Mark Crawford have developed an excellent program with outstanding speakers.  We encourage you to ask questions and share your professional experiences for the benefit of all in attendance.  The Section’s Membership & Young Professionals Committee, led by Jesse Keene, invites all conference attendees to join them at a Welcome Reception on Thursday, November 1st, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Ednam Hall at the Boar’s Head Inn.

Due to the strong leadership of Jon Straw, Co-chair of the Construction Law Handbook Committee, along with Spencer Wiegard’s selfless work ethic and commitment to the Section, and the assistance of new Board member and Co-Chair of the Handbook Committee, Josh Johnson, you will soon receive an email announcing the arrival of our annual update to our Section’s Handbook.  The Handbook is a valuable tool available to our members that includes an index of construction topics and digests of construction cases decided in Virginia’s state and federal courts, and it is available on the Section’s webpage.

I recently represented the Section at the VSB Fall Meeting of Section and Conference Chairs, and I look forward to sharing my experience at our next Board meeting.  The Board had a very successful 3rd Annual Federal Government Contracting Seminar, Tools for Pursuit and Payment, which our Section cosponsored with VACLE on September 6th in Fairfax.  The Board extends its thanks to Past Chair, Jennifer Mahar, for spearheading another successful program on behalf of our Section.

Pending selection by the VSB’s Better Annual Meeting Committee, we plan to partner once again with the Litigation Section to present a showcase CLE program on Civility in Discovery at the Virginia State Bar’s 81st Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach next June.  Special thanks to Lauren McLaughlin and Arnie Mason for their work on this program.  In addition, Hanna Blake and Dan Rounds, as Co-Editors of the Newsletter, have compiled this 73rd Issue of the Newsletter, and continue seeking your input, ideas and content.  Please also forward to them any new court decisions relating to Construction and Public Contracts issues, and let them know if you have a newsletter article you would like considered for inclusion in the next Newsletter.

We are and continue to be an active section, with multiple opportunities for your involvement.  Please take a moment to browse our webpage at for up-to-date information about our Section, including Board meeting minutes that will be prepared by this year’s Secretary, Scott Kowalski.

It is important to our Board members that all of you obtain value and benefit from your membership in the Section.  Consequently, our Board members work hard to bring Section members the very best programs and products.  If the opportunity presents itself, please extend your appreciation to our Board members, and also offer any recommendations you may have for the Board’s consideration.

Finally, we welcome our new Board members, Jesse Gordon, Joe Guarino, Josh Johnson, and Chandra Lantz to the Board, and we extend our sincere appreciation to our Immediate Past Chair, Chris Boynton, for his dedicated service as our Section Chair in 2017-18.  Personally, I want to thank Chris for his willingness to promptly offer guidance, without hesitation, when called upon by the Board.  Along similar lines, the Board acknowledges and truly appreciates the participation and mentoring provided by our Ex-Officio Judicial members, Judge Stanley P. Klein and Judge Richard Tyler McGrath.  Of course, the Board is also grateful for the significant and invaluable assistance provided by the Board’s liaisons to the VSB and VACLE, Paulette Davidson and Richard DiMeglio, respectively.  If you are interested in serving on a committee or have any ideas for how we may continue to improve or add to our programming, please feel free to contact me at or (434) 528-3400.

J. Barrett Lucy
Freeman, Dunn, Alexander, Gay, Lucy & Coates, P.C.
1045 Cottontown Road
Lynchburg, Virginia 24503